Matthias Glarner wrestling champion

Switzerland’s wrestling king, Matthias Glarner, suffered what were thought to be career-ending injuries on June 27, 2017.

Taking part in a demanding photo shoot on a mountain gondola in the Bernese Oberland region, the Swiss wrestling professional fell out of the gondola and onto the forest floor around 12 meters below. It was a dramatic accident that severely injured the athlete.

The security and mobility needed for this comeback is being provided by a strenuous physiotherapy program, and active supports and compression stockings from Bauerfeind.

The combination of these will be analysed in this case study.

Along with an injury to a ligament in his left knee, Matthias Glarner also:

  • Fractured his front pelvic girdle
  • Suffered a severe axial compression injury to his left ankle with a talus fracture
  • Suffered severe cartilage damage

“His pelvis and ankle were operated on after the accident on the same day. After he fell , the extreme force of the impact caused the edge of his shin to severe the talus more or less like a guillotine. Several fragments containing cartilage collected at the lower end of the ankle, where the break occurred,” says PD Dr. med. Fabian Krause, Chief Physician for foot and ankle surgery at University Hospital of Bern. These were removed after the bone was reset.

In addition, the cartilage damage on the shin joint surface was stimulated using several small drilled holes and then sealed using a membrane that stimulates cartilage growth. This procedure enables the formation of new cartilage by stem cells.

The two torn collateral ligaments were stabilised on the bone, while the knee injury with the torn medial collateral ligament , the partially torn posterior cruciate ligament , and the bruised tibial plateau were treated conservatively with an angled knee brace.

The injuries had thus been properly treated, but it looked as though Glarner’s wrestling career was over.

“Naturally, the injuries were a big shock to me at first ,” says Matthias Glarner. “But I also knew that I wanted to make a comeback in my sport.”

The 31-year-old fighter was committed to his recovery regime, which included:

A physiotherapy program that aided his upper body and pelvic training (which he began just three weeks after his operation.)
Several Bauerfeind braces and supports.

Bauerfeind played a supporting role in the literal sense of the word after Matthias Glarner’s foot casts and knee brace were removed. The company provided Matthias Glarner with:

VenoTrain® compression stockings
GenuTrain® active support for relief and stabilisation of the knee joint 
MalleoTrain® Plus for stabilising the ankle
The correct fit is extremely important to ensure people reap the full benefits of their supports, braces and stockings.

At the flagship store at Bauerfeind Australia, the 3D body measuring system allows these products to be fit perfectly which physiotherapists rely on for their clients recovery.

“The supports offer stability in the beginning especially,” PD Dr. Krause explains. “They have a compressive effect that reduces swelling and they also ensure that joints are not excessively moved in the direction of the painful area.”

Besides going to the physiotherapy centre in Thun, Matthias Glarner also regularly visits the Swiss Federal Sports Office (BASPO) in Magglingen, where he undergoes additional rehabilitation training – and he always uses the Bauerfeind supports for his knee and ankle here as well. In addition, Matthias Glarner wears VenoTrain compression stockings before and after he trains. “The active supports made me feel extremely secure immediately after I put them on, and they’re also very comfortable to wear,” he says.

Benefits of using compression stockings


Jörg Gyger from the REACTIVE physiotherapy center in Gwatt (Thun) shares knowledge on the benefits of Bauerfeind supports and braces.

Jorg Gyger highlights importance of using knee braces for recovery
“These products are very important and meaningful medical aids that provide users with physical security and a sense of mental security as well . They also provide optimal support in terms of balance, stabilisation, and mobilisation.”

Jörg Gyger has implemented an ankle treatment program for Matthias Glarner that focuses on passive measures such as angular and translational movements that have a direct effect on the joint and reduce the restriction of movement. The active measures being used in the program include movement exercises on slant boards and unstable surfaces. The circulation-stimulation effect of the compression stockings also helps soothe.

“All of these Bauerfeind supports and knee braces are promoting my physical regeneration and they also reduce the slight swelling of the instep that sometimes occurs after intensive training,” says Matthias.

Bauerfeind has treated elite athletes in all sports disciplines. Since 2002, Bauerfeind has been present at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games with a service team on hand for the athletes from all participating nations.

Matthias Glarner is benefiting from his Bauerfeind experience.

“Bauerfeind provided me with outstanding support by giving me sound advice and allowing me to benefit from its extensive knowledge, especially with regard to stress loads in Swiss wrestling,” says Matthias Glarner.

For example, Mr. Glarner’s knee can be exposed to as much as 300 kilograms of force, but his knee can handle this, thanks to GenuTrain. “I’m really pleased that my cooperation with Bauerfeind has now turned into an official partnership with a holistic approach that will help me optimise my performance even further in the future,” he explains.

Matthias Glarner has now fully resumed his regular training schedule, which involves up to 18 hours of training per week. Although the entire recovery process will still take some time, and much patience, Matthias Glarner says he is nevertheless “very optimistic that I’ll be able to start participating in tournaments again in mid-2018.”

Matthias Glarner using knee and ankle braces

The combination of physiotherapy and Bauerfeind supports, braces and compression stockings have allowed countless sporting stars and everyday people return to their original fit state.

To learn more about the products submit your request to be a Bauerfeind Australia B2B supplier.

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